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Brooklyn Cyclones Game 7-19-06

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Tigers Tame Cyclone Bats

 

By Patrick Hickey Jr

obrien.jpg
O'Brien silenced the Cyclones bats tonight

BROOKLYN, NY- Looking to avenge a loss to the Oneonta Tigers last night where everything, including the weather seemed to go wrong, the Brooklyn Cyclones offense continued to border on the mediocre, failing to capitalize on another solid pitching performance, en route to a disappointing three-hit loss to the Tigers 6-0.

 

Having yet to start a game at Keyspan this year, Nelson Portillo would get his first opportunity to impress the Coney Island faithful tonight. Having a 1-1 record with a 2.88 ERA through five starts so far this season, Portillo, aside from Jacob Ruckle, has been Brooklyn's most consistent starter and has given the team a chance to win every time he’s pitched this season.

 

Portillo continued to prove his immense value to the team until the fourth inning tonight, when he was touched up for two runs, courtesy of hits by Scott Sizemore and Santo Deleon, giving the Tigers an early 2-0 lead. Portillo continued to get in trouble in the fifth; giving up a solo-home run to Ryan Strieby and all of a sudden the Cyclones were down 3-0.

 

After the game, Cyclones manager George Greer thought that Portillo pitched well, but acknowledged that he made mistakes that cost him the chance to dominate the Tigers.

 

“I think he’s very good when he keeps the ball down,” said Greer. “When he doesn’t keep the ball down, like any pitcher, he’s going to get hit.”

 

The Cyclones looked to get off to an early start against Tigers starter Matthew O’Brien, but managed only two hits in the seven innings he pitched.

 

They did have an opportunity to score in the bottom of the fifth however, as Jon Malo would reach base on a throwing error by Deleon and O’Brien would walk Tim Grogan with no outs. A sacrifice bunt by Jake Eigsti would move the runners into scoring position, but a Luis Rivera strikeout and Joe Holden groundout would keep Brooklyn scoreless.

 

“It’s obviously frustrating,” said Cyclones second baseman Jon Schemmel, regarding the team’s lack of offensive production this season “Especially with the way our pitchers have been throwing lately. We’re trying to figure things out. It’s not due to a lack of effort. Everyday we’re working hard to try and get out of it and I’m confident in time we will.”

portillo.jpg
Portillo got no run support from his teammates tonight

Grady Hinchman would replace Portillo (6 IP, 3 ER, 3 K’s) in the seventh, and unfortunately for the Cyclones, Hinchman would get himself into trouble as well, giving up RBI singles to Deik Scram and Brennan Boesch, resulting in a three-run inning for the Tigers, putting the Cyclones down 6-0.

 

Hinchman would get the hook in favor Josh Appell in the eighth and despite Appell throwing two scoreless innings in the game’s final two frames; the Cyclones offense was unable to generate any offense off of O’Brien, or Tigers relievers Randon Bierd and Brett Jensen, resulting in an eventual 6-0 loss.

 

“I thought he pitched excellent baseball,” said Greer of O’Brien’s performance tonight. “He kept us off balance; he threw strikes and got ahead.”

All Photographs for this article were taken by Conroy Walker

To comment on this article, e-mail Mr. Hickey @ Patrickhickeyjr@yahoo.com